Daniel Eran Dilger
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MacBook Air spawns new software solutions for missing hardware

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Tech enthusiasts like to argue about whether Apple is a really a software company or a hardware company. Its earnings reports make it clear the company generates its revenues through selling hardware, but its unique software adds much of the differentiated value to its products. The MacBook Air is no exception, leveraging new software assets such as Remote Disc, Remote Install, and a specialized Migration Assistant.

Continues: AppleInsider | MacBook Air spawns new software solutions for missing hardware

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  • Brau

    “Apple warns that copy-protected discs, including some game installers, commercial DVD movies, and “burned or ripped CD media” won’t work remotely over the network.”

    Well, I’m glad you mentioned that “little restriction” (AKA: hardware based DRM). Often when upgrading I choose to rebuild my system from the ground up, just to start with a clean slate. Just how the heck is a MBAir user supposed to rebuild their iTunes library from a network back-up, bought CDs or legitimately burned CDs when Remote Disk won’t allow it? It seems the Air can’t actually be used as-is if you like to have your entire iTunes library on all your computers *without* buying the additional optical drive (that conveniently won’t work on any other Macs BTW).

    Apple’s recent practice of producing DRM crippleware is the main reason I have not bought an iPod. It may not be Apple’s fault (RIAA?), but I simply should be able to load non-DRM’d photos, music, and videos from any machine I like, but the iPod/iTunes juggernaut won’t let me. It doesn’t even allow me to authorize my own personal computers. Instead it erases any previous media content if I even try to add a single photo by plugging into another Mac (and no, I don’t want to use my iPod as a storage device, I want to use the iPod to show recent photos to friends). I am very disappointed to see Apple introducing DRM measures into a full blooded laptop and if it finds its way into other Macs then my days buying any new Apple products will be over.

  • Jon T

    Put the pressure on the labels, not Apple Brau…

    Why are they DRM free on Amazon and not iTunes? They want to weaken iTunes to strengthen their negotiating position with Apple.

    Time for them to give up on DRM, it doesn’t work.

  • James

    Brau I think that most of your comment amounts to a parasite’s plea to Apple not to breach your right to steal whatever films and music you choose to, and thus is nonsense. However you make two points that interest me.

    First can you use Remote Disk to rip your original CDs to your iTunes library? The Apple statement does not mention this so I assume you can, but if I am wrong this is a serious flaw.

    Second you say you cannot transfer your photos from one Mac to another. This is just untrue. You can copy any photos by dragging them to the desktop, and there is also an “export” menu item which gives you more options. If however Apple were to change this we would all be very angry. But they won’t. Why? Because they are not completely mad.

    So you are just talking trash.

  • Brau

    Up yours James! All the content I am talking about is my own personal creation. Stick your self righteous attitude in the trash where it belongs.

  • droughtquake

    CDs don’t have DRM. CD-like disks with DRM don’t comply with the official standards. All of those copy-protected CD-like disks showed up as a CD on a Mac.

    Maybe there’s something that can be detected in a burned CD that doesn’t exist in an original commercial CD. (Or the wording could just be there for legal purposes.)

  • Boregard

    So far people are looking at nits, and ignoring the Leopard in their midst as he comes at increasing speed.

    Look at the LONG TERM potential direction this allows for Apple’s products.

    Here is in place a system, which was no doubt planned out in the work with the iPhone for remote updating.

    Almost everyone acknowledges the race is on for more info in smaller packages, so the DVD’s life cycle will come to an end. Plugin USB flash keys and maybe something else not public will replace them, including “the network”.

    It seems now Apple has it in place to be able to update everything from a wristwatch sized product running OSX to a mid-size iPhone, to a tablet to any size PC over WiFi or other network. Stop and think what this portends for easy management of an even wider array of devices we use.

    We haven’t even discussed home security, activating or starting systems on vehicles of all types, remote control interfaces (beyond home theaters).

    Apple has set its infrastructure in place to allow one small OSX install to be managed and updated from “the outside” in an organized way, and make it easy for developers to write code once which can run fairly easily on all these pieces of hardware, as the future unfolds.

    That is pretty amazing stuff.

  • lmasanti

    quote:
    “Tech enthusiasts like to argue about whether Apple is a really a software company or a hardware company.”

    For what is it good a hardware without software?
    The different between Apple and the others hardware manufacturers is that Apple “also makes the difference with the software”.

  • Marian

    I doubt that there was any attempt by Apple to prevent CD ripping and DVD ripping.
    If I would be the engineer in Apple that would have implemented the feature, I would present the drive in the remote machine as a big ISO virtual file, with 2048 bytes sectors, and I would mount the remote virtual file in the MacBook Air. That’s how you ensure compatibility with any file system, for any data disk.
    But:
    – CDs use mode 2 sectors, that are 2352 bytes
    – DVDs require DeCSS locally – I doubt Apple would want to take the legal liability of providing software that removes CSS at the remote location (Mac or PC)
    – DRM protection in games – it simulates hardware defects in the CD/DVD, or it uses a non-standard thing – very hard to “port” it remotelly